Many people in Selkirk and throughout the Borders will have heard about the activities of Rotary.
In a close-knit area like Selkirk, Rotarians are easy to identify, but have you noticed how they’ve changed?
Yes, they’re getting younger and becoming increasingly involved in the community — an area in which they have excelled for decades.
The image of Rotary has moved on – clubs are more relaxed, less formal and great fun. The more vibrant clubs have websites, engage on Facebook and Twitter, and love to meet the community.
The Selkirk club thoroughly enjoyed its new venture on Christmas Eve, meeting families and providing mince pies and mulled wine etc. at the town’s Living Nativity and Carol Concert.
Public relation exercises like that have taught us many things and only recently Rotakids has been formed with two local schools — Lilliesleaf Primary and Philiphaugh Community schools. They have already raised more than £700 by holding a sponsored silence.
Pupils and Rotarians will be visiting STV in Glasgow next Thursday to present their cheque to the channel’s Supporting Scotland’s Children Appeal. Look out for it as, who knows, they may be reading the news or the weather forecast!
For the last 26 years Rotary worldwide has been striving to eradicate polio, and with a final financial push from Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft, the funding target has been achieved.
To mark the organisation’s successes, Rotary Day is held every year on February 23, and last year the Selkirk club planted 5,000 purple crocus corms on The Green in the town and donated 1,000 to Ettrickbridge Village Floral Committee.
Lookout for these on your travels — they should be making a colourful picture any day now.
Rotarians are committed to helping others both locally and worldwide. Community Rotary is our new label — working up your street and in your town to help those less fortunate.
But clubs also engage with people and groups to help prepare them for the future. Rotakids is a prime example. We work with seven to 11-year-olds in developing their community awareness, leadership skills and building their self-esteems.
It’s fun, it will make a positive impact in their schools and it will help kids grow into responsible citizens.
Rotary encourages skills development with its Young Musician and Young Chef of the Year events, and sends selected pupils to its Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp every year. Challenge Enterprise is also designed to develop pupils’ business and personal performance skills, and is held annually over a weekend.